Technical Staff Blog

Author archives: Benjamin Nacar

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VPN outage

The department VPN was down between approximately 1:30 AM EDT this past Saturday and 8:15 AM EDT this morning (Monday). During that time interval, some users reported that they couldn't connect, while others could connect to the VPN but were then unable to access any sites inside or outside of the department ...

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Email delays

Between 12:06 PM and 6:11 PM (EDT) today, we had a partial email degradation due to a misconfigured certificate. During that time interval some, but not all, mail sent to @cs.brown.edu and @lists.cs.brown.edu addresses was not delivered immediately, and some mail is still delayed. This includes all mail ...

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We are currently having issues with the department list server, lists.cs.brown.edu. There is a backlog of mail starting from this past Friday which hasn't been delivered yet. We appreciate your patience while we determine the underlying cause.

Note that this does not affect course email lists, which are hosted on the ...

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(copied from John Bazik's email 11:03pm Thursday, May 30th)

The CS filesystem will be shut down for a period of time this weekend. 
This will render desktop and grid systems unusable and disable some
services.  The technical staff is working with IBM to resolve a serious
issue, and this work cannot wait.

The ...

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Emergency Linux Workstation Reboot

Tstaff will be rebooting several department-managed Linux workstations tomorrow, Wednesday morning at 5am. This is part of an ongoing effort to track down some recent filesystem-related problems.

Workstations to be rebooted include all machines in the Sunlab and some other undergrad spaces, in addition to a few faculty and grad student machines. The complete list ...

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The department list server stopped delivering mail starting at least as far back as yesterday morning (Thursday the 10th). The problem has been resolved and the list server is chewing through the backlog of messages. If you continue to have problems sending email to department lists or receiving listserv messages, email problem.

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In hopes of fixing the ongoing FastX issues permanently, we are going to do some reconfiguration of the virtual hosts in the FastX cluster that will require all of them to be shut down. We will take the cluster offline at 8am tomorrow morning (Thursday the 27th). While we don't know how long this ...

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FastX continues to be unreliable for most users. Even after a cold reboot of the entire cluster last Friday, most connections are getting rejected, seemingly nondeterministically and accompanied by any one of a few recurring error messages.

We still don't know the underlying cause and have contacted StarNet to see if they have any ...

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Users have reported an unusual volume and variety of FastX problems over the last couple of days. So far we have been unable to determine the precise cause, or narrow the problems down to any particular host in the cluster. Therefore, as part of our ongoing attempt to diagnose and fix the problems, we are ...

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The post-spring-semester reconfiguration of the FastX cluster (fastx-cluster.cs.brown.edu) was scheduled to occur within the morning of Wednesday, June 6th, but has proven more involved than anticipated. It is hoped that the cluster will be back online by 4pm on June 7th.

Once the reconfiguration is complete, FastX users should experience fewer service ...